‘This opportunity is playing to all my creative juices,’ said the former Brown Harris Stevens exec
Real estate industry icon Diane Ramirez has been appointed as chief strategy officer for the New York City brokerage operations of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) New England/Westchester/New York Properties. One of the industry’s most prolific and effective leaders, Ramirez was most recently the executive chairman and senior advisor of Brown Harris Stevens (BHS). In 2020, BHS acquired Halstead, the firm Ramirez founded in 1984 with Clark Halstead.
In her new role, Ramirez is charged with expanding the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices footprint within New York and throughout surrounding states. She will oversee key initiatives, such as the implementation of innovative technology platforms and services that will bolster business on behalf of agents.
“This opportunity is playing to all my creative juices,” said Ramirez in an exclusive interview with RISMedia. “This is putting me back to what I really love doing—connecting with agents, staff and executives, and really listening and collaborating. This is going to play into my love of thinking forward and being innovative. It’s like a clean canvas.”
Ramirez has been a long-time admirer of BHHS New England/Westchester/New York Properties President and CEO Candace Adams. As Ramirez got to know Adams over the years, “I got to see first-hand her vision and her knowledge,” she said. “Now we’re starting to finish each other’s sentences. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her.”
“Diane is an incredible strategist and she oozes emotional intelligence,” said Adams in an interview with RISMedia. “She brings hands-on expertise with her in the New York City market and the industry as a whole. She’s got a tremendous reputation and is incredibly respected by brokers and agents. She knows how to build culture and that’s what’s most important to me.”
Ramirez’s wide-ranging influence, keen market insight and tireless work ethic have been hallmarks of her decorated real estate career. She broke into the industry as an agent, initially working in Palm Beach and eventually New York, before co-founding Halstead, which utilized tech innovation to grow and attract the high-end sector of the market.
Terra Holdings purchased Halstead in 2001, and through Ramirez’s leadership skills, the company grew to more than 30 offices and 1,400 agents across New York City, The Hamptons, Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Fairfield County, Connecticut. In 2020, Halstead merged with Brown Harris Stevens, which led to the expansion of Ramirez’s role and her continued oversight of the company’s growth.
“Diane is a real estate genius,” said Adams. “Her wisdom and grace, coupled with her unparalleled expertise, make this a phenomenal partnership—not only for our New York Properties family, but neighboring markets.”
Ramirez holds equal esteem for the BHHS brand. “Berkshire Hathaway is a brand that I’ve admired for so long, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it,” she said. “Because of the great depth of resources, leadership and knowledge they have, they know what agents need. Over the years, I’ve loved being able to successfully grow brands…and I very much look forward to doing so for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in New York and beyond.”
The addition of Ramirez helps Adams achieve her goal for the firm. “Everyone will always say they want to be number one, but we want to be the best—we don’t need to be the largest,” she explained. “We are compiling a team of superior professionals who will become the go-to for any New York City seller or buyer.”
In 2019, Ramirez was inducted into RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers Hall of Fame. She is licensed in New York, Connecticut and Florida, and is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), which has honored her with three prestigious distinctions: the Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award; the Bernard H. Mendik Lifetime Leadership Award; and the Henry Forster award. She has been named by the New York Observer as one of “The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate.”
Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s Executive Editor.